POST-SALE RELEASE: CHRISTIE’S POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART EVENING SALES

New York

REALISE COMBINED TOTAL OF $879.5MILLION (£518.9MILLION/ €642.1MILLION) 

 

$134,630,000 - IF I LIVE I’LL SEE YOU TUESDAY – Monday 12 May

 

$744,944,000 - EVENING SALE OF POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART – Tuesday 13 May

HIGHEST AUCTION TOTAL IN ART MARKET HISTORY

STRONG INTERNATIONAL DEMAND FOR AMERICAN ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST MASTERWORKS INCLUDING WORKS BY BARNETT NEWMAN ($84.1M) AND MARK ROTHKO ($66.2M)

 

10 NEW WORLD AUCTION RECORDS ESTABLISHED FOR CUTTING-EDGE POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS INCLUDING ALEXANDER CALDER, JOSEPH CORNELL, ROBERT GOBER, JOAN MITCHELL,

BARNETT NEWMAN, FRANK STELLA AND SALVATORE SCARPITTA

 

VERY STRONG RESULTS FOR WORKS FROM COLLECTIONS AND PRESTIGIOUS PROVENANCES

FAR EXCEEDEDING PRE-SALE ESTIMATES 

 

New York – On May 12th and 13th, Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art evening sales achieved a combined total of $879,574,000 (£518,948,660/ €642,089,020) with a strong sell-through rate of 98% by value and 95% by lot. The $744.9million total of Tuesday evening’s sale represents the highest total for a single auction in art market history. Bidders from 35 countries competed for an exceptional offering of masterworks by some of the century’s most influential artists: Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, Jeff Koons, Christopher Wool and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

 

With a wide range of examples from the collections of Edwin A. and Lindy Bergman, the Estate of Anita Reiner, Phillip Schrager, Frances R. Dittmer, and institutions such as the E.ON Art Collection in Düsseldorf, and The Art Institute of Chicago, collectors competed enthusiastically for works with the best quality and significant provenance. The two evening sales established 26 new world auction records, selling 2 works over $80million, 4 over $50million, 12 over $20 million, 19 over $10 million and 86 over $1 million. 80% of the lots were completely new to the auction market.

 

“Great masterpieces inspire great collectors from every generation” said Brett Gorvy, Chairman and International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art. “It has been a privilege to present our clients with such a large spectrum of works from important collections this season. The sales so far this week have demonstrated the growing appetite for contemporary art across the global marketplace. From the highest number of visitors to our online space to the 12,500 people visiting our public exhibitions, from the volume of bidders in the sales themselves to the significant number of new artist records set, we are seeing unprecedented momentum in the market as the desire to connect with great art continues to grow.”

 

IF I LIVE I’LL SEE YOU TUESDAY – Monday 12 May 2014

On Monday, Christie’s presented a new auction with a selection of some of the best dark and unflinching contemporary art created over the past five decades. The sale of, If I Live I’ll See You Tuesday, titled after a work by Richard Prince featuring the same phrase, totaled $134,630,000/£79,431,700/ €98,279,900 with 97% sold by lot and 99.5% sold by value.  The sale established 16 new world auction records for artists including Joe Bradley, Dan Colen, Peter Doig, Wade Guyton, On Kawara, Martin Kippenberger, Glenn Ligon, Adam McEwen, Richard Prince and Thomas Schütte.  Martin Kippenberger’s Untitled led the night, selling for the world record price of $18,645,000, after six minutes of bidding. The sale witnessed worldwide participation, which confirmed the globalized demand for this category, with 350 registrants representing 26 countries.

 

EVENING SALE OF POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART – Tuesday 13 May 2014

The top lot of the Tuesday May 13 sale was the highly anticipated Barnett Newman’s Black Fire I, a sublime Abstract Expressionist masterpiece that perfectly captures the artist’s reductive and uncompromising aesthetic, which sold for the world auction record price of  $84,165,000 (£49,657,350/€61,440,450), doubling the previous record for the artist. The Zen-like simplicity of Black Fire I embodies the spirituality, grandeur and solemnity that define all of Newman’s greatest works.   Following Black Fire I, was Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards which achieved $80,805,000 (£47,674,950/€58,987,650). The work is one of the greatest examples from Bacon’s acclaimed Late Period. Bacon painted 28 known triptychs in his life, out of which at least 12 are in public collections, and only 4 have come up for auction.

 

COLLECTIONS

The sale was highlighted by works from outstanding private collections including those of Edwin and Lindy Bergman, Phillip Schrager, Frances R. Dittmer and the estate of Anita Reiner, which all sold above their presale estimates. Further works from these collections will be represented in the day sales taking place on Wednesday, May 14.

 

The sale got off to a strong start with the 14 works from THE BERGMAN COLLECTION, which totaled $65.6million, doubling the overall estimate. The collection comprised a highly significant group assembled over a sixty-year period by Edwin and Lindy Bergman, the renowned Chicago philanthropists and patrons of the arts.  The Bergmans were known to collect a variety of works by Joseph Cornell, including the Medici Slot Machine, which was sold for the world auction record price of $7,781,000 (£4,590,790/€5,680,130). Also achieving a very strong price was Cornell’s Medici Princess with $5,989,000 (£3,533,510/€4,371,970), which became the second highest price for the artist.  The seven works by Cornell totaled $24million. At the pinnacle of Alexander Calder’s explorations into the boundaries of sculpture is the exceptional Poisson volant (Flying Fish). The masterpiece of technical innovation drew a fierce bidding battle between multiple collectors on the phone and in the room, lasting 6 minutes and ultimately setting a new record for the artist at auction when it sold for $25,925,000 (£15,295,750/€18,925,250).

 

The selection of works from THE FRANCES R. DITTMER COLLECTION achieved $24.7million. The ten works were led by Untitled, a significant 1964 work by Cy Twombly that realized $7,445,000 (£4,392,550/€5,434,850).

 

The exceptional Untitled 1981 canvas by Jean-Michel Basquiat, from THE ESTATE OF ANITA REINER was sold for $34,885,000 (£20,582,150/€25,466,050). The work was first seen and purchased on the spot by Anita Reiner while the artist was working on it in the basement of Annina Nosei’s Gallery. It has remained in her private collection ever since. Robert Gober’s Silent Sink created in 1984 and based on his childhood memories, fetched $4,197,000 (£2,476,230/€3,063,810), a world auction record for the artist.  The collection totaled $39.5million.

 

Built over nearly 40 years, Property of THE PHILLIP SCHRAGER COLLECTION realized $45.5million doubling the presale estimate. The selection offered significant works with bold colors and a particular attention to surface elements. The top work was Willem de Kooning’s Untitled XXXI, which realized $21,165,000 (£12,487,350/€15,450,450).

 

FURTHER HIGHLIGHTS:

 

ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM - Mark Rothko’s magical and reflective style was represented by the 1952 work, Untitled, a towering, vibrant and deeply moving painting.  This superb masterpiece was sold for $66,245,000 (£39,084,550/€48,358,850). Joan Mitchell’s Untitled achieved $11,925,000 (£7,035,750/€8,705,250), setting a world auction record for the artist and the highest price for any work sold at auction by a female artist.

 

1960’s POP ART - Two highly anticipated works by Andy Warhol from the 1960’s Death and Disaster series were led by The evening sale catalogue cover lot, Race Riot, an extremely rare and provocative image sold for $62,885,000 (£37,102,150/€45,906,050). Based on the 1963 Birmingham race riots, this image of political violence and racial oppression was previously in the collection of American curator and collector, Sam Wagstaff and photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe. The spectacular White Marilyn, which was created immediately after Monroe’s untimely death in 1962, was sold for $41,045,000 (£24,216,550/€29,962,850) after 10 minutes of bidding. Belonging to the twelve “Single Marilyns” mentioned by Warhol in POPism, White Marilyn was one of eight Marilyns selected for Warhol’s first one-man exhibition at Eleanor Ward’s renowned Stable Gallery in New York in 1962.

 

CONTEMPORARY MASTERS - The international demand for works by contemporary artists was again evident throughout the sale, particularly so during the bidding for Christopher Wool's If You. Hauling language and materials from the streets, Wool drags the underbelly of the industrial urban environment into the expansive history of fine art. The painting, which declares, "IF YOU CAN’T TAKE A JOKE YOU CAN GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE" was sold for $23,685,000 (£13,974,150/€17,290,050), the second highest price for a work by the artist.  Jeff KoonsJim Beam - J.B. Turner Train was sold for $33,765,000 (£19,921,350/€24,648,450). The largest work in Koons' Luxury and Degradation show, it also marked the first appearance of stainless steel as a medium in his work.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

26 ARTIST WORLD AUCTION RECORDS IN TOTAL

 

EVENING SALE OF POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART

10 WORLD AUCTION RECORDS

 

Lot 1

Lucas Samaras (b. 1936), Box #102, box construction--wood, metal, printed fabric, paint, printed paper collage and pencils, executed in 1977.

Estimate: $80,000 – 120,000

Price Realized: $281,000

 

Lot 7

Joseph Cornell (1903-1972), Medici Slot Machine, wood box construction--wood, printed paper, collage, glass, metal, mirror and marbles, executed in 1943.

Estimate: $2,500,000 – 3,500,000

Price Realized:  $7,781,000

 

Lot 8

Alexander Calder (1898-1976), Poisson volant (Flying Fish), hanging mobile--painted sheet metal, rod and wire, executed in 1957.

Estimate: $9,000,000 – 12,000,000

Price Realized: $25,925,000

 

Lot 18

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), Untitled, oilstick on paper, executed in 1983.

Estimate: $6,000,000 – 8,000,000

Price Realized: $7,445,000

 

Lot 19

Robert Gober (b. 1954), The Silent Sink, plaster, wire lath, wood and semi-gloss enamel paint, executed in 1984.

Estimate: $2,000,000 – 3,000,000

Price Realized: $4,197,000

 

Lot 25

Salvatore Scarpitta (1919-2007), The Corn Queen, bandage and mixed media laid on board, executed in 1959.

Estimate: $600,000 – 800,000

Price Realized: $1,445,000

 

Lot 32

Joan Mitchell (1925-1992), Untitled, oil on canvas, painted in 1960.

Estimate: $6,000,000-9,000,000

Price Realized: $11,925,000

 

Lot 34

Barnett Newman (1905-1970), Black Fire I, oil on canvas, painted in 1961.

Estimate on request

Price Realized: $84,165,000

 

Lot 48

Martin Puryear (B.1941), Untitled, red cedar and pine, executed in 1989.

Estimate: $600,000-800,000

Price Realized: $1,805,000

 

Lot 56

Frank Stella (b. 1936), Abajo, metallic powder in polymer emulsion on canvas, painted in 1964.

Estimate: $6,000,000-8,000,000

Price Realized: $6,661,000

 

Lot 58

Robert Mangold (b. 1937), Curved Plane/Figure VII, acrylic and graphite on three attached shaped canvases, painted in 1995.

Estimate: $400,000-600,000

Price Realized: $965,000

 

IF I LIVE I’LL SEE YOU TUESDAY

14 WORLD AUCTION RECORDS

 

Lot 4

Joe Bradley (b. 1975), Blonde, oil, acrylic, colored oilsticks, graphite, paper and plastic tape on canvas, painted in 2011.

Estimate: $500,000-700,000

Price Realized: $965,000

 

Lot 5

Alex Israel (B. 1982), Sky Backdrop, acrylic on canvas, painted in 2012.

Estimate: $200,000-300,000

Price Realized: $1,025,000

 

Lot 9

On Kawara (b. 1933), May 1, 1987, acrylic on canvas, painted on May 1, 1987

Estimate: $3,000,000-4,000,000

Price Realized: $4,197,000

 

Lot 10

Dan Colen (b. 1979), Boo Fuck'n Hoo, oil on canvas, painted in 2006. 

Estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000

Price Realized: $3,077,000

 

Lot 11

Richard Prince (b. 1949), Nurse of Greenmeadow, inkjet print and acrylic on canvas, painted in 2002.

Estimate: $7,000,000 – 9,000,000

Price Realized: $8,565,000

 

Lot 13

Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997), Untitled, oil on canvas , painted in 1988.

Estimate : $9,000,000 – 12,000,000

Price Realized: $18,645,000

 

Lot 16

Wade Guyton (b. 1972), Untitled, Epson UltraChrome inkjet on linen, Executed in 2005.

Estimate: $2,500,000 – 3,500,000

Price Realized: $3,525,000

 

Lot 17

Louis Eisner (b. 1988), Marshall Head (Void), oil on canvas, painted in 2012.

Estimate: $40,000 – 60,000

Price Realized: $137,000

 

Lot 26

Thomas Schütte (b. 1954), Großer Geist Nr. 6, bronze with green patina, executed in 1996.

Estimate : $3,500,000 – 4,500,000

Price Realized: $5,317,000

 

Lot 27

Michael Riedel (B. 1972), Untitled (td bgcolor), silkscreen inks on linen, painted in 2012.

Estimate: $80,000 – 120,000

Price Realized: $305,000

 

Lot 31

Peter Doig (b. 1959), Road House, oil on canvas, painted in 1991.

Estimate: $9,500,000 – 11,500,000

Price Realized: $11,925,000

 

Lot 34

Glenn Ligon (b. 1960), Untitled #1 (Second Version), oilstick, gesso and graphite on wood panel, painted in 1990. 

Estimate: $800,000 – 1,200,000

Price Realized: $2,629,000

 

Lot 35

R.H. Quaytman (b. 1961), Spine, Chapter 20 (Silberkuppe), silkscreen ink and gesso on wood, painted in 2010.

Estimate: $60,000 – 80,000

Price Realized: $269,000

 

Lot 36

Adam McEwen (b. 1965), Untitled, graphite, executed in 2012

Estimate: $200,000 – 300,000

Price Realized: $329,000

 

2 WORLD AUCTION RECORDS FOR THE ARTIST IN THE MEDIUM

 

Lot 2

(WORKS ON PAPER)

Christopher Wool (b. 1955), Untitled, alkyd and graphite on paper, painted in 1990.

Estimate: $1,000,000-1,500,000

Price Realized: $1,445,000

 

Lot 19

(PHOTOGRAPH)

Richard Prince (B. 1949), Spiritual America, Ektacolor print, executed in 1983

Estimate: $3,500,000 – 4,500,000

Price Realized: $3,973,000

 

The Post-War and Contemporary Art sales continue tomorrow with the day sales.

The christies.com/pwconline sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art will end May 20.

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had auction sales in 2019 that totalled £4.5 billion / $5.8 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.